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Unformatted text preview: 10/27/09 Impact of Disabili5es Community November 2, 2009 Vic5miza5on of People with Disabili5es • People with disabili5es are at greater risk for mistreatment than their non‐disabled counterparts. • Mistreatment can be abuse or neglect. • Abuse creates barriers that – prevent people with disabili5es from living independently. – compromise their safety and well‐being. Vic5miza5on of People with Disabili5es • Abuse is deﬁned as • There are several types of abuse. – “Anything that causes harm to an individual....” – Physical: inten5onally inﬂic5ng pain or injury – Sexual: Unwelcome sexual contact – Psychological/Emo5onal: behavior that takes away a person’s dignity ad self‐worth – Economic/Financial: controlling a person’s ﬁnances without their permission – Neglect – Systemic abuse – Ins5tu5onal abuse The People’s Law School 1 10/27/09 Abusers of People with Disabili5es • Abusers are oXen “care givers.” – The rela5onship between PAS providers and care receivers lends itself to imbalance of power. – Verbal abuse – Arriving late / leaving early • Abuse by personal assistance service providers is most oXen reported as • Other forms of abuse reportedly perpetrated by PAS provides include – Stealing money or unauthorized use of credit cards – Disabling or destroying equipment – Stealing medica5on Addressing Abuse • Barriers to addressing abusive situa5ons can be – Personal – Problems with vic5ms’ services – Problems with disability services – Problems with PAS providers Addressing Abuse • Personal barriers to addressing abuse – Embarrassment – Fear of retalia5on – Not having a trusted person to tell – Fear of not being believed – Fear of not having input into how the situa5on is handled (Will the vic*m’s preferences be followed?) 2 10/27/09 Addressing Abuse • Vic5ms’ services barriers to addressing abuse – People with disabili5es are not always aware of the available services (e.g. crisis lines; shelters; support groups) – Inaccessible shelters (e.g. physical; communica5on; cogni5ve) – Uninformed service workers Addressing Abuse • Disability services barriers to addressing abuse – Some reports are not taken seriously. – Repor5ng abuse might lead to • intrusion in the life of the vic5m or disregard for privacy • Loss of independence (e.g. being sent to a group home or other care facility) • Losing custody of children Addressing Abuse • PAS barriers to addressing abuse – Shortage of qualiﬁed PAS providers – Lack of knowledge about recrui5ng, training, and managing providers – Lack of control over choosing, paying, managing, or ﬁring PAS providers 3 10/27/09 Crime Vic5ms with Disabili5es • Sta5s5cs on crime vic5ms with disabili5es
– Persons ages 12 and over experienced approximately • 716,000 non‐violent crimes • 2.3 million property crimes • 47,000 rapes • 79,000 robberies • 114,000 aggravated assaults • 476,000 simple assaults Bureau of Justice, Crime Against People with Disabilities (2007) Community: Vic5miza5on of People with Disabili5es • Compared to people without disabili5es • Females with disabili5es are more likely than males with disabili5es to be vic5mized • People with cogni5ve disabili5es are at greater risk for violent crimes thanpeople with other types of disabili5es. • More than half of vic5ms had mul5ple disabili5es. • One fourth of people with severe mental illness are vic5ms of violent crime (11 5mes higher than general popula5on) Bureau of Justice, Crime Against People with Disabilities (2007) (National Council on Disability, http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/news/2007/crime_victims.htm) – 1.5 5mes more likely to be vic5ms of violent crime – Twice as likely to experience rape or assault – Ages 12‐19 are almost twice as likely to experience violent crimes Community: Vic5miza5on of People with Disabili5es • About 20% of vic5ms believed they were vic5mized because of their disabili5es. • About one third believed that the oﬀender was under the inﬂuence of alcohol or drugs. Bureau of Justice, Crime Against People with Disabilities (2007) 4 10/27/09 Law Enforcement and Vic5ms with Disabili5es • Law enforcement personnel need to be able to recognize characteris5cs of disabili5es. • Law enforcement personnel need to know eﬀec5ve communica5on skills to use with people with disabili5es. – Use simple, concrete language. – Ask one ques5on at a 5me. – Don’t ask ques5ons with implied answers. Bureau of Justice, Crime Against People with Disabilities (2007) – Determine if a vic5m (or a suspect) might have a disability. The Judicial System and Vic5ms with Disabili5es • Prosecutors need to – Develop rela5onships with disability groups to gain understanding of disability‐related issues. – Work with vic5ms to increase their eﬀec5veness as witnesses. • Judges need to ensure appropriate sentences for convicted oﬀenders. Bureau of Justice, Crime Against People with Disabilities (2007) Strategies to Prevent Abuse • Don’t focus on managing the vic5m. – Increase—rather than reduce—the vic5m’s control over their supports and op5ons. • Train agency workers and vic5ms in support‐ related issues. – Move away from “This is what we’ll do to protect you.” to “Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.” • Work with vic5ms’ services and law enforcement to increase understanding of people with disabili5es. 5 10/27/09 Strategies to Increase Self‐Advocacy • People with disabili5es can be proac5ve. – Be involved with more people. – Be involved throughout the community. – Expect to be treated with respect. – Work to improve communica5on skills. – Iden5fy caregivers who are empathe5c. – Be willing to report abuse. 6 ...
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- Spring '11